A few weeks ago I got a severe craving for soup dumplings, or xiaolongbao. I was a woman possessed – those broth filled dumplings dominated my every thought and for a few days, I could talk about little else. Back in New York I used to go to New Green Bo, (now named Nice Green Bo) for a plate of those delicious, succulent parcels of heaven, but I had yet to find anywhere in London to get my fix. Mr A finally succumbed to
my incessant whining his curiosity and decided he had to try them for himself. And so we ended up going for dim sum at the Dorchester (lucky me).Afternoon tea at the Dorchester might be the most quintessentially English thing you could ever do. Until Mr. A sent over the website I had no idea that they also offer Dim Sum at their restaurant, China Tang. Always one for dumplings over scones, I was giddy with excitement.
Once you pass through the rather grand lobby, you go downstairs to a gorgeous bar where the atmosphere is quite different altogether.
We settled in, ordered a bottle of South African red and asked for the Dim Sum menu. The room was beautiful, and the atmosphere lovely – perfect for a date. I can’t say I behaved particularly well though, as I interrupted mid-conversation to ask if we could order. I think with all the dim sum flying around I was a bit overly excited…
We ordered our dishes in waves, starting with, of course, soup dumplings (or Shanghai pork dumplings on the menu). We really enjoyed most of the dishes – the Shanghai fried dumplings, Siu Mai, beef dumplings and roast pork buns perfectly made. One dish we didn’t enjoy was the BBQ Pork Cannelloni (not pictured) – it looked as grim as it tasted, and in hindsight it sounded horrible so what were we thinking!?
The xiaolongbao arrived, and as I opened the lid on the basket Mr. A seemed disappointed. After all my fuss I think he was expecting something spectacular – and to be honest so was I. In New York you could get an order of 8 massive soup dumplings for $4.25 – these dumplings were about a quarter of the size for twice the price. Although tasty, they had nothing on their New York equivalent!
Despite this, I had such a lovely time at China Tang. The room is lovely, and the interesting paintings on the wall gave us so much to talk about. Dim Sum is always perfect for a date as sharing meals family style is always so much more fun! Be prepared to flash the cash though – although I was treated to this lovely meal I know it must have set Mr.A back a pretty penny. And although the other dishes were delicious, my hunt for the perfect soup dumplings in London continues…
China Tang at the Dorchester is located on 53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA.